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2016 Resolution: Orthodox Jewish Students on University Campuses
Adopted by direct vote of the RCA membership.

Click here for text of press release.

 
 
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Jan 18, 2017 -- Whereas our community values an advanced education in both Torah and secular studies; and,

Whereas many Modern Orthodox students pursue college-level secular education within an Orthodox Jewish institution, such as Yeshiva University and the Touro College and University System; and,

Whereas other Modern Orthodox students pursue their higher education at a secular university; and,

Whereas some Orthodox students attending secular universities grow, both personally and spiritually, and some even assume leadership positions within an active Jewish campus community; and,

Whereas the environment at many secular institutions of higher education presents unique challenges for students to continue to live as Torah-centered Jews, sometimes leading them to abandon their commitment to their faith and/or to the observance of Halacha; and,

Whereas some university campuses have very small Jewish communities, and may be unable to offer kosher food and the proper environment for Shabbat observance

Therefore the Rabbinical Council of America

Advocates that Jewish students nurture their commitment to Torah by attending an Orthodox Jewish University.

Encourages our community to study the impact of secular campus life on religious youth and to suggest better ways for high schools, yeshivot and seminaries to prepare their students for the intellectual, halachic, spiritual, and emotional challenges of campus life.

Advises parents, college guidance departments in high schools, yeshivot, seminaries and local rabbis to be aware of the challenges and opportunities present on university campuses in order to ensure that students are guided to universities at which not only are religious students’ minimal needs met (i.e., kosher food, regular prayer services, a community which observes Shabbat together) but are guided to universities with larger religious communities within which students can, alongside their academic growth, grow spiritually and religiously.

Asserts that community rabbis, teachers, and educational professionals should regularly engage students in grades 11 and 12, along with their parents, in meaningful personal discussions regarding the approaching post-high school decision, focusing on the religious and spiritual ramifications of this choice.

Urges community rabbis, teachers, and educational professionals to visit Jewish students on university campuses, teach Torah there, and offer students religious and personal support and guidance.

Calls upon Orthodox communities to host nearby university students on Shabbat, festivals, and at other times.

Takes special note of the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus (JLIC) which, among others, provides learning opportunities and religious services, and develops communities of Torah living for Jewish students on campuses. We encourage all members of the Orthodox community to support its efforts.

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